In peacekeeping and peace-enforcement, EU-UN relations have gone through a series of major changes in the last years, essentially due to the necessity of the two organisations to adapt their respective structures and operational capabilities to the new international security environment. The core of EU-UN co-operation is regulated by the EU-UN Joint Declaration on Co-operation in Crisis Management (2003). This declaration also led to the establishment of a joint consultative mechanism known as the Steering Committee. In 2004, the EU Council adopted a document detailing the different modalities of collaboration between the UN and the EU in peacekeeping missions. Indeed, these policies have led to intensified EU-UN cooperation in Africa (DRC, Darfur, Somalia), the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the Middle East (Lebanon). Moreover, Member States of the EU collectively contribute nearly 40% of the UN peacekeeping budget. Although intensified, the peacekeeping and peace-enforcement missions have revealed deficits and mistakes in UN-EU cooperation.
In peace-building, both the EU and the UN have a key role to play in addressing state crises and in pursuing an effective policy of post-conflict reconstruction. Indeed, peace-building could be seen as a follow-up strategy to peacekeeping and peace enforcement and as an attempt to guide a post-conflict area to institutionalized stability and to eventual comprehensively entrenched state-building. Thus, peacekeeping, peace-building and state-building can be seen as interrelated stages in the process of security consolidation and sustainable institution building.
What is challenging nowadays is to find out the reasons for mistakes in EU-UN cooperation in peace-keeping, peace-enforcement and peace-building and to define the options to make this cooperation more effective.